10/19/2004: Mike, just go ahead and call me an elitist....
but living in Tennessee for as long as I have (and that's not very long), this doesn't surprise me at all. From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Are Voters Stupid?But The Votemaster continues (this not quoted on Political Wire):
As most Political Wire readers know, we spend a lot of time analyzing polling methodologies trying to make a determination whether the polls we report are accurate or not. But a key finding from a recent Middle Tennessee State University poll is much more startling:"A close look at five key domestic agenda items suggests that Tennesseans as a group hardly qualify as well-informed and ideologically consistent policy wonks. On four of the five issues, only about half of a given candidate’s supporters hold opinions consistent with those of the candidate."The Votemaster notes it's "not considered politically correct to point out that an awful lot of voters don't have a clue what they are talking about."
A recent poll from Middle Tennessee State University sheds some light on the subject. For example, when asked which candidate wants to roll back the tax cuts for people making over $200,000 a year, a quarter thought it was Bush and a quarter didn't know. And it goes down hill from there. When asked which candidate supports specific positions on various issues, the results were no better than chance. While this poll was in Tennessee, I strongly suspect a similar poll in other states would get similar results. I find it dismaying that many people will vote for Bush because they want to tax the rich (which he opposes) or vote for Kerry because they want school vouchers for religious schools (which he opposes).I am seriously wondering how the hell we've kept a reasonably democratic republic for as long as we have. I suppose it's another data point in favor of one of my favorite hypotheses explaining the dumbing down of the population: "Well, the amount of intelligence in the universe is constant, and the population is increasing."
Speaking of The Votemaster (which is keeping a running tally of electoral votes, and a cool roll-over map that will key you into the results of the last poll in each state as you roll your cursor over it), his map has me scratching my head. He lists Tennessee as "Strongly Bush", based on the last MTSU poll showing a 50%-39% lead for Bush over Kerry.
What I want to know is, does he really think that missing 11% of respondents is going to vote Nader?
Len on 10.19.04 @ 01:01 PM CST